People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants us to stop drinking milk and has been running a
campaign that asks: "Got pus? Milk does." A takeoff on the dairy industry’s highly effective "Got milk?" slogan, it’s probably been making many milk drinkers feel uncomfortable, with some of them saying to themselves, "I hope they don’t start charging us more."
PETA, which advocates a dairy-free diet, has
plastered the slogan on T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise to draw
attention to what it says are dangerous levels of somatic cells — pus —
in much of the milk sold in this country. The pus gets there because of
an udder infection called mastitis that can infect cows raised for
their milk, PETA says.
The California Milk Processor Board, which owns the Got Milk?
trademark, has laughed off countless previous knockoffs, from Got
Fleas? to Got Freud? The board even has welcomed some as boosting
publicity for milk. [Link]
The slogan has been mimicked hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Christian youth groups have used it ("Got Jesus?") and so have preachers ("Got saved?") and televangelists ("Got cash?"). Insurance salesmen have found it handy ("Got coverage?"), as have doctors ("Got pain?") and defense lawyers ("Got busted?"). College students can’t manage without it ("Got beer?") and neither can beggars ("Got change?") and iPod users ("Got Sanjaya?"). Even the presidential candidates are using it: Hillary Clinton ("Got any dirt on Obama?"), Rudy Giuliani ("Got tired of me yet?"), and Dennis Kucinich ("Got any idea who I am?")
But the board contends there is no truth to the pus claims and that PETA is violating the campaign’s trademark.
is one of the most regulated, tested and therefore safest products that
consumers can buy," said Steve James, the milk board’s executive
director. "Pasteurization has been required for almost a century in
order to remove harmful organisms and bacteria so it’s safe for human
Perhaps the milk board should start its own campaign against PETA: "Got brains?"
Photo by arimoore